KEEP BUSTIN'

Archive for the ‘Drama’ Category

Scarface

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

Shit man, there’s no other movie like SCARFACE, is there? Even the original SCARFACE, I bet, is nothing like SCARFACE. We got several high quality American gangster epics, but they’re always about gangsters of the Italian American persuasion and usually in New York, New Jersey or Las Vegas or somewhere. This one feels so unique because it’s about Cuban-Americans and it takes place in Miami. It has a real strong sense of place. Its wicked heart pumps the tainted blood of that godforsaken Floridian peninsula, even though they got chased out of there and had to film most of the movie on neutral territory in L.A.

This is the perfect exaggerated painting of the 1980s and the cocaine wars. The good old days. And it even makes you root for this psychotic egomaniac shithead, Tony Montana (Al Pacino [Scarface]). ‘Cause first you see him as an immigrant getting hassled by the man, working as a dishwasher and tough talking his way into bigger work, dropping off some money for some cocaine. His higher ups (small time hoods themselves) don’t believe in him. But when the dealers pull a cross on Tony and his friends and it turns into an insane bloodbath (literally, come to think of it, because alot of the mayhem takes place in the shower), all involved must admit that he handles it with, uh, flair. He leaves with the money and the yayo (a term now popular because of the movie), tells the middlemen to fuck off and brings it all straight to the area boss, who is very impressed. This is typical of his quick rise up the totem pole. Initiative, elbow grease, bootstraps, etc. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vanishing Point

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

Under the opening credits you got these beautiful shots of small town life. Some tractors moving around. Some people working. Interesting looking old dudes watching suspiciously out screen doors.

I figured it was just a regular day in farm country until the end of the sequence when the two huge bulldozers lowered their shovels right next to each other, making a giant, shallow v-shape right in the middle of the highway. A roadblock.

I guess that explains all these media people and cops showing up right in the middle of nowhere. The natives stand around and watch. This might be the end of a long journey, at the beginning of the movie. (read the rest of this shit…)

King of New York

Sunday, April 17th, 2005

In this movie Christopher Walken plays Frank White who is the King of New York. He is not literally a king but actually some sort of crime boss of New York. He’s fresh out of the joint and unlike certain heroic individuals who choose to turn their life around and follow a path of Positivity, making the world a better place through art and culture, he decides to be king of new york. But he says he’s gonna build a hospital so that makes it okay.

The director is Abel Ferrara, an asshole director who I sort of like. I mean I never met the guy obviously but he’s one of those greaseballs like Vincent Gallo where, before you even see an interview with the guy, you just get the feeling he’s an asshole. In his movie DRILLER KILLER I didn’t even realize he was the star (he used a pseudonym) and I kept thinking this star really thinks he’s hot shit, it’s not just the character. What a fuckin asshole. But then I listened to the commentary track and heard Ferrara say the same exact thing about himself. So I had to like him. (read the rest of this shit…)

Fever Pitch

Monday, April 11th, 2005

Usually even if I see a movie like this I wouldn’t review it. Because you know, light-hearted romantic comedy is not my area of expertise. But if a movie critic is a bear then FEVER PITCH is a big pile of fish slathered in a barrel of honey, and I think you know why. Because it’s easy as shit to write baseball puns and metaphors. It’s fuckin tee-ball for the hack headline writers of the world. Sometimes they wonder how the fuck they gonna come up with a pun for a movie headline, but with a baseball movie you hit control-A for “strikes out,” control-B for “swings for the fences.”

Actually I don’t think either of those is true, FEVER PITCH is more like a double or a triple or maybe a real good double play. They never use defensive plays in metaphors but double plays are obviously important, also triple plays but those don’t happen enough to be a common phrase. I don’t think there is such a thing as a quadruple play but it would be cool though. Anyway this is a cute romantic comedy deal but what makes it worth mentioning is (read the rest of this shit…)

City of Industry

Friday, April 1st, 2005

Here’s a small time crime picture for you, never got much attention as a child but grew up to be a pretty good movie. It starts out with Timothy Hutton stealing a car (very believable hotwire scene here with actual hammering of the dashboard, not just pulling some wires out) then going to pick up his partner for a job. They eventually get together their crew for a jewel heist, it consists of Timothy Hutton, his older brother Roy Egan (Harvey Keitel), Jorge (some guy I thought I recognized, but turns out he was only in a handful of movies before he died) and an obnoxious hotshot jackass named Skip, sort of a Stephen Dorff type (Stephen Dorff).

There is a pretty strong Richard Stark feel to this for a while as they prepare their heist. No funny stuff, no fancy talk, just straight business and some primal percussion type soundtrack shit to get your heart beating. Everything goes smooth actually until after the heist when this fucker Skip decides to shoot everybody, burn down the motor home and take off with the boodle. Fucking asshole! So the rest of the movie is about Roy trying to find and kill Skip, Skip trying to have Roy killed before he finds him. Very simple. That’s what I like. (read the rest of this shit…)

White Dog

Saturday, March 26th, 2005

WHITE DOG is the story of a racist German sheperd. Fuckin Germans. (Just kidding.) The story here is about Julie (Kristy McNicol) a small time actress who runs over a white German sheperd in the Hollywood Hills one night. She brings the dog (who never gets a name, so we’ll call him White Dog) to the vet and pays for his treatment, then takes him in while she tries to find the owner.

Before long, some Ernest Borgnine looking rapist breaks in and attacks her. White Dog not only takes care of the fucker, he does it in style. He even manages to jump right through a closed window to catch him. Everybody’s making a big deal about the guy in ONG BAK being the next big action hero, well what about White Dog. This dog jumps and climbs over all kinds of crap. This is a great dog. (read the rest of this shit…)

Hostage

Monday, March 14th, 2005

Legend has it that the times we’re in create the movies we watch. Sometimes on purpose, sometimes subconsciously. I mean who the fuck knows how it happens but the fears and the turbulence and the shittiness of troubled times somehow soaks into the celluloid and poisons the screen. So Vietnam and racial unrest soaked into the PLANET OF THE APES pictures, for example. The atomic age bred giant crabs, Hiroshima gave birth to Godzilla, Ronald Reagan caused ROCKY 4 and RED DAWN, AIDS made THE FLY.

Well, HOSTAGE is not a political movie but it is a Bruce Willis action thriller for the fucked up age we are currently being sat on by. In the DIE HARD pictures he fought terrorists, so now that terrorism is more of a realistic threat, he’s going back to fighting criminals again. But because it’s the Bush era, this is a dark, ugly, sometimes gorey thriller. A story about a bunch of psychotic, sadistic, greedy assholes terrorizing each other, and all the rest of us who get caught in the middle. A movie that wears a mask and has your wife and daughter tied and gagged in the back of a van and forces you to break your moral code and risk your life to get what it wants. It’s a real intense, well made thriller but what I’m saying is, this is 2005. Don’t expect to get blown through the back wall of the theater and have a good time and all that. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern on WILD THINGS 3 Dvd ! He’s gone nuts folks!

Saturday, March 12th, 2005

Hey folks, Harry here… I should rename Vern, Gunga Din, cuz with what he watches and writes about… he’s a braver man than I am. Case in point. WILD THINGS 3. Behold…

Dear Blue Bay P.D.:

Please stop me before I kill again.

No, just kiddin bud, actually I am writing to warn you guys about a growing threat to your wealthy Florida community: a new breed of scheming young nubile con artists known as “wild things.” There have been at least six of these wild things wreaking havoc in your area to date and could be more on the way if you’re not careful.

These wild things first hit spectacularly in 1998 and in two less inspired copycat cases since. Don’t worry though, they should be easy to catch if you would start paying attention. I’ll give you the profile for typical wild things to help you out. (read the rest of this shit…)

Maria Full of Grace

Thursday, February 17th, 2005

This is a movie about a beautiful teenage girl from Colombia who works a shitty job dethorning roses, gets in an argument with her boss, one thing leads to another and suddenly she’s pursuing other opportunities. Around the same time she finds out she’s pregnant, gets in an argument with her boyfriend and they announce they don’t love each other and begin a new journey of life travelling on separate paths. (A convenient way for the guy to avoid responsibility. Well played, deadbeat. Well played.) Also she meets a new guy and this guy has some connections with drug traffickers. Which leads to an exciting new moneymaking opportunity.

You probaly already heard of this movie so you know what it is. She becomes a drug mule. She swallows something like a dozen balloons of heroin, has to carry them on a plane to New York. She’s part of what they call “shotgunning” where they send a bunch of mules at the same time, figuring if one of them gets caught it will create a distraction for the others to get through. She knows some of the other mules (one of them is her whiny, pouty best friend) so it puts them in sort of an uneasy alliance/competition. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Born Losers

Friday, February 11th, 2005

I always dug the Billy Jack pictures. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re low budget independent movies about a half white/half native ex green beret badass with hippie values. He and his wife (the director and producer of the movies, respectively) run “The Freedom School” where they teach kids to be themselves and stand up for minorities and strum guitars and crap. Billy Jack lives one of those lives where, you know, he’s always out trying to ride a horse or a jeep or something, just minding his own business, but inevitably he’s gonna see some racist assholes picking on an indian or some rapist assholes picking on a girl or something along those lines. And he’s gonna walk over quietly and interject himself into the situation. This sometimes means beating some ass, but also sometimes means getting his own ass beaten and ending up in jail. But the important thing is he stands up for the downtrodden. That’s his primary interest and hobby, I guess. He stands up to rich kids, corrupt cops, even the energy industry in the last one, Billy Jack Goes to Washington, where he becomes Senator Billy Jack and makes his stand in an exciting filibuster climax.

(if you REALLY haven’t heard of Billy Jack you probaly assumed that last part was a joke, so I should make it clear that it is not.) (read the rest of this shit…)